It’s the most wonderful time of the year…until you get sick. According to the CDC, flu viruses are most prominent during the fall and winter, with activity typically peaking between December and February. And there’s nothing like a lingering runny nose, sore throat or high fever to put a damper on the holiday season. Don’t worry; you’re not doomed just yet. Try these research-backed strategies for staying healthy during cold and flu season!
Stock Up on Immune-Boosting Superfoods
One of your best defenses starts with the food you put into your body. Stock your fridge and pantry with immune-boosting superfoods (read more on this here) like honey, mushrooms and leafy greens for the ultimate defense.
Get Your Beauty Sleep
Are you getting enough sleep? The verdict is in: Science shows that sleep has a direct impact on the immune system, with sleep deprivation making the body more susceptible to infections. Need help getting a good night’s sleep? Try these simple tips to wind down.
Skip the Second Slice of Pie
As much as you love grandma’s apple pie, it may be best to keep sweet treats to a minimum as added sugars can cause inflammation in the body. Opt for naturally sweetened foods like fruit, root vegetables, or warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.
Pack on Probiotics
Love up your gut (and immune system) with probiotics! This study found that probiotics can boost the immune system, making them effective in fighting the common cold and influenza-like infections.
Probiotics can be found naturally in fermented foods and beverages like kombucha, yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut, or you can talk to your doctor or nutritionist about taking a high-quality supplement if needed. Packed with probiotics and micronutrients, Vibrant Health’s Green Vibrance is designed to help support digestion and immune heath. Win, win.
Seek Stress Relief
It’s no surprise that stress takes a toll on your immune system too! Simply put, when the body is under stress, it suppresses the immune system’s ability to function properly – which can make you more susceptible to infection.
Though there are a number of risk factors, healthy stress-reducing habits like good sleep can make a difference. Be sure to take mindful moments for yourself to de-stress this season!
Test Your Vitamin D
Folks in New England are notorious for having low levels of Vitamin D, so it’s important to get your levels checked with a health professional and supplement as needed. A recent study shows that Vitamin D supplementation may actually help strengthen immunity and prevent acute respiratory tract infections such as seasonal influenza.
If supplementation is needed, go for a quality product containing Vitamin D3, the form that can be absorbed by the body.
Jet-setters may be exposed to extra germs during winter travel, so be prepared. Here are 6 healthy carry-on essentials for staying healthy on the go! One easy tip: pack a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.
Note: These suggestions are meant to act as a guide. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider when implementing any drastic changes to your diet or healthcare routine.